Don't know what people expect. If you are looking for a high end expensive sports car, shop on! With the 5 speed, this car has more than enough get up and go, and is a blast to drive. First gear could be a little taller. Seats are frim but nit uncomfortable. It handles like a go cart, and rides like one too, that's the car's design! It holds the road like glue, but picks up all the bumps. I live in Hampton Roads, VA, mostly highway driving, and with premium gas (which I recommend for performance) I average 38 mpg if I drive conservatively. Get a K&N air filter for the performance tweak, it's worth the money and the filter saves $$ in the long run as it is washable.
Great handling, tranny, mileage.
Taller first gear, maybe a 6 speed tranny manual and auto, more sound insulation (c'mon, Mazda, how much would this cost).
I have 2011 Mazda 2 touring with 51k. Just retired my Mazda protege with 300k on it. The protege has the 1.5 liter which only has with 90hp. The Mazda 2 also has the 1.5liter. Every go see the Christmas lights and you can not turn your head lamps off?The 2 doesn't have the day running lamps. Has a self adjusting timing chain and not a timing belt so that is saving you 500 to 600 every 60k that you have to change on most imports.I work at a big dealership and get to drive every make and model and can say with certainty that this Mazda is the funnest car out. The 5 speed tyranny is smooth. The engine isn't loud. So what it only has 100hp. That is a upgrade for me from the 90hp I had for many year
Update..Feb 2016 My Mazda now has 77000 miles and still running great. I need to correct the fuel mileage that I previously wrote on my review. The car is averaging about 35 combined. Can get a little better on the highway if its babied like a Sunday driver. I have no complaints with the car as its a great car all around.
Exactly what I planned on buying. The 2 handles great. It is best on curvy roads. I put a K&N air filter in it and it helped the acceleration. I drive 90% highway driving and I am averaging 40 mpg. That is with 3k miles on it. It is not a perfect car; however, I think that it is the best handling subcompact hatchback sold today. I test drove both auto and manual an the manual is the most fun to drive. I test drove other cars, but this car handles better than the other subcompacts that I drove. This car has the zoom zoom handling Mazda is famous for. At least test drive one before you buy another subcompact. I would buy this car again.
Handling is great. The steering is responsive. Braking is great considering rear drums are on this car. The manual shifter shifts accurately with short shifting motion. Visibility is good.
An arm rest would be nice. Four wheel disk brakes. Sunroof option. Telescoping steering wheel.
The Mazda2 is a lot of fun to drive, it handles well and gets excellent gas mileage. I regularly get over the stated 35 MPG highway, getting around 37 MPG average. Hills can be a bit of a problem, as this car doesn't have a very big engine. I can make it through the mountains fine, but it's necessary to downshift considerably to speed up on hills. The car is comfortable for short trips, but for long trips, can get uncomfortable. There is no lumbar support or center armrest, which can be uncomfortable for longer rides. However, for a small car, it feels big inside and has excellent visibility.
Fuel mileage is by far the best part of this car.
It gets better than stated mileage.
In addition, it's a fun car to drive, especially with a manual transmission.
Although lacking more advanced technological features, the controls are simple, well laid out, and easy to use.
Absolutely needs lumbar support and a center armrest.
A turbocharged version would also be welcomed, as the extra power to get up hills (especially with passengers in the car) is necessary at times.
With 4000 mile gone, I must say that the Mazda2 is a great car. You will read that it only has a 100 hp engine. You will read that it is small. Yup, both are true. But the 2 is a blast to drive, is peppy and economical. We are averaging 38 mpg in mixed driving. If I had wanted a packet rocket, I would have bought a Mazdaspeed3. The 2 has tons of personality, storage space and room for driver/passengers. I am 5'11" - 340 pounds and I fit in it fine. Great car. Love it.